A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Promotes acceptance in the face of intolerance, being true to oneself, teamwork.
Positive Role Models
Lead characters are diverse in terms of race, gender, class, and sexual orientation. Two of the lead characters teen girls who've just broken up -- their relationship is conveyed in a nuanced manner, with one of them clearly struggling with coming out to her peers and family.
Violence & Scariness
Exaggerated horror movie violence, blood, and gore throughout. Death by stabbing (chest, throat), shooting (forehead), and clubbing -- blood and heightened sound effects of knives slicing skin. Axe to head. Character's head shoved through a bread slicer -- graphic gore. Characters choked, shoved into water until they lose consciousness. A car with teens chasing a school bus full of teens crashes after the people in the car throw bottles at the bus, and one of the kids in the bus retaliates by throwing a cooler out the back of the bus -- injuries, blood. During a memorial service, football players from the "rich" town pick a fight with the less affluent town that has always struggled with violent crime, and a fight breaks out -- punches. Talk of killing kids and cutting out their eyes. Jump scares throughout.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some gratuitous sexual content. In a scene where the five lead characters are awaiting a confrontation with the killers while in their high school, two girls who once dated strip to their bras and begin to passionately kiss, and it's implied that another character, while looking at himself in the mirror, is about to masturbate. Implied sex in tease of Fear Street: Part 2 1978 at the very end (teen boy and girl shown having sex -- no nudity). Slang references to sex. Character moons car of rival teens from the back window of the bus. A character scares another with a blowup sex doll. Shot of football player kissing a cheerleader and reaching his hand around to grab her rear end.
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Constant profanity. "F--k" regularly used. "Motherf--ker" used. Also: "bulls--t," "s--t," "s--thole," "dips--t," "p--ssies," "d--ks," "a--hole," "pr--k," "ass," "goddamn," "bitch," "douchebag." Homophobic slang terms for lesbians used. Middle finger gesture.
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Products & Purchases
Coca-Cola signage in a grocery store. Orange Julius in the mall.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
One of the lead characters sold pills in high school. Pills stolen from a hospital (Vicodin, Percocet). In order for one of the lead characters to temporarily die, she's given rounds of pills to take that eventually render them unconscious before stopping their heart. Reference made to father of two of the lead characters being an alcoholic who drinks beers every night after work.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Fear Street Part One: 1994 -- the first in a trilogy based on books by R.L. Stine -- is a horror movie in which a group of teens try to stop a malevolent force that's made their town infamous for brutal serial killing. Expect lots of blood and gore, as well as constant profanity ("f--k" and more) and sexual content. Characters are killed in a variety of ways, including with knives, guns, axes, and baseball bats. Teens in a car pursue a school bus and throw bottles at it -- the passengers in the bus respond by mooning the car, then hurling a cooler out the back door, resulting in an accident with injuries. There's implied teen sex and masturbation, and one of the lead characters is known for dealing prescription pills. A character is brought to near death in order to stop the villains, taking rounds of pills that first render them high, then unconscious, and then temporarily dead. There are also jump scares throughout, including one involving a blow-up sex doll. On a positive note, the lead characters, unlike those in so many horror movies, are diverse in terms of race, gender, class, and sexual orientation. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This is a teen slasher homage and parody that tries way too hard. Fear Street Part One: 1994 is a movie that really wants you to know that it's set during the 1990s. With its mixtapes and AOL chatrooms and so much music from the likes of Nine Inch Nails, White Zombie, and Bush, the movie is drowning in '90s sauce within the first ten minutes, and it quickly grows tiresome, either as parody or as an attempt to capture what it was like in the mid-90s. While the movie seems to be trying to reference the tropes and conventions of teen slasher movies from this decade, it doesn't take long for it to feel like little more than a copy of Stranger Things, with its cartoonish exaggeration of period relevant pop culture and the age-old rivalries between assorted high school cliques.
Ironically enough, the very exaggeration that the movie seems to be going for is its undoing. The excessive profanity quickly grows tiresome and comes across as uninspired and unoriginal. The self awareness in what's being parodied loses any humor it may have had within the first half hour. The gratuitous sex and violence end up being all part of the exhausting pastiche of the blurred line between irony and tribute, of parody and homage. One has to hope that the next two movies in the series will be better.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.